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hornet

[hawr-nit] /ˈhɔr nɪt/
noun
1.
any large, stinging paper wasp of the family Vespidae, as Vespa crabro (giant hornet) introduced into the U.S. from Europe, or Vespula maculata (bald-faced hornet or white-faced hornet) of North America.
Origin of hornet
900
before 900; Middle English harnete, Old English hyrnet(u); cognate with Old High German hornaz (> German Horniss); akin to horn
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hornet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He went a-peekin' an' a-pryin' round my ears, as if he'd found a hornet's nest.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • Our peaceful convent was from thenceforth like a bee-hive into which a hornet had entered.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • He recognized the nest as that of a variety of hornet which is large and valiant.

    Rodney, the Ranger John V. Lane
  • The hornet was too small to be struck by the arrows of the lightning.

    The Book of Nature Myths Florence Holbrook
  • So the hornet is now an oriole, a bird that is loved by every one.

    The Book of Nature Myths Florence Holbrook
  • "And get something for these hornet stings," added Tad Sobber.

    The Rover Boys on the Farm Arthur M. Winfield (AKA Edward Stratemeyer)
  • "As mad as a hornet," and there was a chuckle in Sam's tone.

    The Rover Boys in the Air

    Edward Stratemeyer
British Dictionary definitions for hornet

hornet

/ˈhɔːnɪt/
noun
1.
any of various large social wasps of the family Vespidae, esp Vespa crabro of Europe, that can inflict a severe sting
2.
hornet's nest, a strongly unfavourable reaction (often in the phrase stir up a hornet's nest)
Word Origin
Old English hyrnetu; related to Old Saxon hornut, Old High German hornuz
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hornet
n.

Old English hyrnet, hurnitu "large wasp, beetle," probably from Proto-Germanic *hurz-nut- (cf. Old Saxon hornut, Middle Dutch huersel, Dutch horzel, Old High German hornaz, German Hornisse "hornet"), from PIE imitative (buzzing) root *krs-, as preserved in Old Church Slavonic srusa, Lithuanian szirszu "wasp." On this theory, the English word (as well as German Hornisse) was altered by influence of horn, to suggest either "horner" (from the sting) or "horn-blower" (from the buzz). Cf. also Old Saxon hornobero "hornet," literally "trumpeter."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with hornet
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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